The Garden House is Saved

The Garden House is Saved

“In the words of our friends at Vanishing Seattle, this is #NOTVANISHING! Beacon Hill’s Garden House will be restored to its longtime community use…because we acquired it on December 23!!!

The Victorian home was constructed in 1886, and its grounds are home to pear trees that date back as far as a century. The Garden House is also known as the Turner-Koepf House, and it served the Jefferson Park Ladies’ Improvement Club and Washington State Federation of Garden Clubs for decades. A longstanding covenant that had guaranteed the property’s use for community purposes was deemed invalid in a 2016 lawsuit, and the property was listed for sale in 2018. Despite making a higher offer to purchase the property in 2018, Historic Seattle was unsuccessful in that bid, and a private party took ownership instead. The property is a landmark, but landmarking does not protect use (and in some cases landmarks can still be torn down).

After 3 years of working towards this deal and a lot of community advocacy work, we will partner with Beacon Arts & community members to return it to public purposes in perpetuity.

The $2M deal, which closed on December 23, was made possible through grants from the King County Conservation Futures program, contributions from more than 100 private donors thus far, and City of Seattle seed funding, which was championed in 2018 by then-president of the City Council Bruce Harrell. Seattle Parks and Recreation will hold an easement, permanently protecting public green space in the neighborhood.

Thank you to all the people who have worked alongside us to make this possible! Our mission is saving meaningful places to foster lively communities, and we can’t think of a better way to end the year than with this perfect example of that work.”

(20+) Historic Seattle | Facebook

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